Working with First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! effort launched today, the Ad Council and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has unveiled new public service ads urging children to get moving.
The campaign, created pro bono by Warner Bros. Consumer Products and Scholastic Media, uses each partner's characters to help the Let's Move! initiative reach its goal of solving the childhood obesity problem within one generation.
In one series, professional athletes join Warner Bros. Looney Tunes characters to encourage kids to live an active lifestyle by telling them they don't have to be a pro to "Be a Player." The ads, developed in collaboration with the NFL Play 60 and NBA Fit initiatives, feature New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees and Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant. Other PSAs show pro skateboarder Tony Hawk and Olympic Gold medalist Misty May-Treanor promoting a healthy lifestyle and increasing physical fitness for kids.
In another PSA series, Scholastic's characters from the "Maya & Miguel" TV series encourage kids to "Take the Maya & Miguel Challenge." The materials, created with agency Casanova Pendrill, are in both English and Spanish to take advantage of the characters' appeal to Hispanic families as well as general audiences.
The full PSA campaign, which includes TV, radio, print, outdoor and online, will be distributed nationally in March. The PSAs direct audiences to the First Lady's new website www.letsmove.gov, where they will find links to the HHS and Ad Council-sponsored www.SmallStep.gov, which provides information on healthy eating and physical activity.
According to HHS' Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the percentage of young people who are overweight has more than tripled since 1980, with more than 9 million U.S. children older than 6 considered overweight. In addition, these children are at a greater risk for cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes, and other chronic diseases once they reach adulthood. The CDC says the health cost of obesity in the U.S. is as high as $147 billion annually.